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Cup Spy Jan 18: Goodison updates on Patriot .. Kiwis AC40 test options evolve

by Richard Gladwell/ 19 Jan 09:15 GMT 19 January 2023
Patriot sails past the American Magic team base - AC75 - January 18, 2023 - Pensacola, Florida © Paul Todd/America's Cup

Only two of the six teams entered in the 2024 America's Cup sailed today, January 18, 2023

What happened in the Cup - January 18, 2023:

  • INEOS Britannia last sailed out of Mallorca on January 14, 2023.
  • American Magic sailed inshore again in Pensacola after deciding that the seaway was too extreme outside in the Gulf of Mexico. They sailed in light winds. Skipper Paul Goodison gave an excellent interview dockside after the training session, where he opened up the situation with the cyclists being off the boat, the differences between co-helm styles, tacking/gybing and getting the AC75 into the air. (See story below)
  • Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their LEQ12 in light airs in Auckland, setting up eventually on the old Course E used for the 2021 America's Cup, and tested their race software. It is now becoming more clear as to their training strategy over the next few months, using two AC-40's - with options in one design and LEQ12 mode, and in two-boat training. See report below.
  • Luna Rossa last sailed out of Cagliari on January 16, 2023.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing last sailed out of Barcelona on January 13, 2023
  • No further developments from the late entry French K-Challenge. An announcement was expected in mid-late January according to an earlier announcement by the Late Entry team.

    American Magic - AC75 Version 2 - Pensacola - January 17, 2023 - Day 35

    From the AC 37 Joint Recon Team:

    Patriot sailed inshore today, covered approximately 40 nm, comprised of 21 upwind and downwind legs.

    Five headsails were loaded into the support RIB, 1 was used. Sailing began at 12:36, completed 48 maneuvers and ended sailing at 15:00. Patriot had a total flying time of 82 Minutes.

    Top speeds were approximately 32k upwind and 38k downwind (according to RIB GPS). Patriot spent the first hour and half of today's session sailing on foil short to medium durations with three 15-20 minutes breaks.

    The breaks in sailing involved mostly crew discussions, although a significant amount of time was paid to the mainsheet area inside the main sail skins.

    Less attention was given to the new equipment on the bow.

    The last hour of sailing included the longest foiling durations of the day coupled with a high number of maneuvers (some back to back). The cyclists were absent again today as the team wait for parts to be delivered to complete the upgrades.

    “We had a good day”, reflected American Magic skipper Paul Goodison in a dockside interview. He says that a forecast of up to 2 metre swells in the Gulf of Mexico, created a debate within the team as to their sailing location, given their New Years Resolution to get on the Gulf of Mexico as much as possible to emulate the conditions expected in Barcelona.

    However the need to tick off some testing on the aero (rig) and hydro (power) systems, drove the decision to again sail on the inshore course, where they have trained for 30 of their 35 sailing days, so far.

    “You can see we've got a lot of new aero controls,” Goodison said. “We're basically cycling through those just seeing what shapes we're able to develop with the with the different systems and see how they affect our take off.

    “This afternoon we put in a bunch of manoeuvres. We're basically just seeing what the different shapes change the feeling of the boat, and if there's any performance gain from that stuff,” the 2008 Olympic Gold Medallist explained.

    With the assistance of the cycling technology company SRAM, American Magic were the first team to fit their AC75 with cycling positions. They would seem to be moving a second step ahead with some enhancements to the first-generation system.

    For the last few training sessions the cyclists have been absent from Patriot.

    “We have some upgrades coming to the to the hydro system [for which the cyclists provide the pressure]. Once the shed testing is complete, with the with the new upgrades that are coming on board, I think the cyclists will be back on tomorrow, or the day after,“ Goodison said.

    “We'll aim to repeat a bunch of the aero tests we did with the new systems with manual power,” he explained.

    Goodison was asked for a comparison on the helming styles of himself and the other co-helms - Australian Olympic Gold medallist and SailGP champion, Tom Slingsby and Tokyo2020 Representative Riley Gibbs who comes to the team comes from a Nacra 17 and Kiteboarding background.

    “It's hard to explain the way each of us drives, but each is slightly different. But it all leads to similar goals. We've all got our own ideas. And we're quite open about sharing our techniques so that the guys who've got more experience are passing it on to the guys who have less experience. We’re all driving the boat and we're all coming up together.”

    Part of that helming experience is being familiar and co-ordinated with the myriad of buttons and controls that surround the helm position, so that their use becomes instinctive, despite the ongoing changes.

    A frequently asked question is on variants of the onboard conversations, communication and crew co-ordination.

    “So again, the main comms come from the helmsman. Whoever's driving on that side is basically in charge of the boat, “Goodison explains. “And then they let you know when the boards are coming down. The new helmsmen completes the manoeuvre on the new side, and basically control gets passed over to that guy. They will let you know when the old board is coming up, and then takes over the basic charge of the boat, until the process starts again on the next tack or gybe."

    Goodison is then asked for a walk-though on the on the more complex process of launching the AC75 from displacement to foiling mode. “In steering it’s a little complex about what angle you pick,” he explains.

    “We are able to control some of the sail functions from where we're driving, but it's basically about coordination and communication to the other guys as to when to move the foils, when to move the other aero functions to get you up in the air, and going. It’s just about being in sync. Like you saw the other day, when we’re in sync we can get up in very light winds. And then other days, we’ll get out of sync and it's a bit more difficult.”

    Patriot is expected to roll out at 10:15 Thursday January 19.

    Session Statistics - Pensacola - January 17, 2023 - American Magic - AC75 V1.5

    • Wind Strength 4-9kts SW (PM)
    • Sea State: <1ft (PM)
    • Roll out: 10.00hrs Dock Out: 11.00hrs
    • Dock In: 15.18hrs Crane out: 15.45hrs
    • Total Tacks: 8 - Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1
    • Total Gybes: 5 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 2

    Crew: Paul Goodison, Riley Gibbs, Lucas Calabrese, Dan Morris, Andrew Campbell, Michael Menninger, Dan Morris, Trevor Burd

    Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40-LEQ Boat 1 - Auckland - Day 9

    Emirates Team New Zealand again sailed their AC40-1 in LEQ12 mode. There was a light sea breeze mostly under 10kts averaging 5kts according to Predictwind readings in the area.

    The day was attended by the film crew involved in the America's Cup documentary.

    AC40-1 ("Forty-One) was towed out of the harbour for about 20 minutes and started sailing in the vicinity of Browns Island (Motukorea) in the 2021 America's Cup Course D area, before towing to "The Paddock" ETNZ's favorite practice ground. The area is the Course E where most of the racing took place in the Prada Cup.

    It will be interesting to see if Emirates Team New Zealand use the 2021 America's Cup course areas for testing, where they have some race data from that campaign. Or, if they move out into the Outer Hauraki Gulf, to get more Barcelona ocean-like conditions, and are not surrounded by islands and other visual references.

    According to the AC37 Joint Recon Team report the "session mainly consisted of straight line and going around marks looking at the racing software to make sure everything is all working well in preparation for more course practice.

    This was the team's second sailing day since returning from the Xmas break and SailGP Singapore.

    The new sail livery in the style of the 37th America's Cup was more evident in today's images than previously. Light to moderate winds are forecast for Thursday and Friday.

    The session ended after three hours, and AC40-1 was towed back to the base arriving at 1600hrs.

    Quite how Emirates Team New Zealand will run the two-boat testing part of their program has not been really disclosed, except for the fact that the two AC-40's will be used for match racing practice.

    However it is obvious from the shots on this page that the team can sail their second AC40 (AC40-3) in its one design mode, and then change components on AC40-1/LEQ12, with it being able to have a test wing on one side and test that against 40-3 - with its one design foils. If they are testing sails then it is easy to have those on AC40-1/LEQ12 and test against 40-3 with its one-design sails, but with both using AC40 One Design foils.

    In other words they can have two an AC40-One Design's on one tack, and have an AC40-OD against a LEQ12 on the other. While other teams have focused hard on precise measurement of performance of a single boat, ETNZ has always been a team that "Tests its Tests". Being able to measure performance data is one thing. Being able to check that you get the same result physically on the water, against another a near identical twin gives another level of assurance to a testing program, and may highlight variables that would not have otherwise been apparent.

    It will be fascinating to see how this aspect of the program unfolds. In the days when full size two-boat testing was allowed, there was always the dilemma as to whether to have two boats to the same design, or build a base boat and then have a more radical design concept as Boat 2.

    Back in the lead-in to the 1995 Cup ETNZ followed this strategy with NZL-32 and NZL-38, and did the same again in 2000 with NZL-60 and NZL-57.

    Both resulted in Cup wins. However the team was unable to repeat in 2003 with what proved to be design and structural shortcomings in both IACC boats constructed. So the woth of the Hula coule never be properly tested, and the design gimmick was able to be able to be turned into a rules nightmare for the team compounded with the loss of their "A" team sailing crew from the 2000 America's Cup.

    ETNZ have never had such flexibility before in a test program. The fact that the AC40 is a development of their winning AC75, means they have stayed with their design genre, rather than taking the approach of the other teams of developing specific test boats.

    Of course the use of AI with identical hulls, and using paired boats is new territory, remembering that in the 2021 Cup ETNZ used AI not only to suggest new design approaches and refinements, but also to suggest better ways for the crews to set up and sail the AC75.

    It would seem that this same AI approach will be used and extended for the 2024 America's Cup.

    Session Statistics - Auckland - January 18, 2022 - Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40-1 LEQ12

    • Wind Strength 01-10kts (PM)
    • Wind Direction: E (PM)
    • Weather: 30% Cloud cover. Temperature: 24°C
    • Sea State: Slight (PM)
    • Roll Out: 1030hrs; Dock Out: 1200hrs
    • Dock In: 1600hrs; Crane Out: 1630hrs
    • Total Tacks: 13 - Fully foiling: 9; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 1
    • Total Gybes: 10 - Fully foiling: 8; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
    • Crew: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge (co-helms), Andy Maloney and Blair Tuke (trimming)

    Additional Images:

    This commentary was written and compiled from video, still images and statistical content extracted from the AC37 Joint Recon program and other material available to Sail-World NZ including photo files, and other on the water coverage from the 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2021 America's Cups.

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